SABMiller, the world’s second biggest brewer, on Monday said it expected biggest growth opportunities to come out of Africa, thanks to more affordable beer and middle class aspirations on the continent.

Speaking at an investor seminar in London on Monday, Mark Bowman, MD of SABMiller Africa, said Africans drank nine litres of beer per head per year, compared with a global average of 45.

“So as Africa develops and levels of disposable income increase we expect the rate of beer consumption to grow significantly. Additionally we anticipate strong GDP growth in Africa which supports our optimism,” Bowman said.

“Consumer access to affordable, formal alcohol and developing brands that tap into local pride and unlock the aspirations of the growing middle class who are seeking more premium brands will be the key drivers of top-line growth for our business across Africa,” he added.

He said the informal market continued to overdo formal alcohol in Africa. Though these pose health risk, they are liked by locals because they are much cheaper. Therefore, SABMiller has to ensure that it provides price-sensitive consumers with affordable, high quality alternatives, he said.

African alcohol consumption, including formal and informal alcohol, is in line with the global average at 6.2 LPA (litres of pure alcohol) per person per year, according to SABMiller. “By developing new affordable brands, such as Chibuku Super and Impala (the world’s first commercial cassava beer in Mozambique), and maintaining moderate pricing regimes on our beer brands, SABMiller expects to win share from the informal alcohol market and achieve significant long-term volume and NPR growth in Africa,” Bowman said.

SABMiller plc is in the beer and soft drinks business. It is one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola drinks. It also produces a portfolio of wholly-owned soft drinks brands.

In the year ended 31 March 2014, it sold 318 million hectolitres of lager, soft drinks and other alcoholic beverages, generating group net producer revenue of $26.719 million and EBITA of $6,460 million (as restated).


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